Vodafone and T-Mobile say they will launch an interoperable mobile payment platform - combining an electronic wallet and handheld phone - to consumers in Germany and the UK towards the end of the year
Announcing the agreement, Thomas Geitner, chief executive, global products and services, Vodafone, comments: “Our goal is to bring additional value to customers by turning their mobile phones into convenient wallets. We believe mobile customers should be able to use their devices as a payment tool, much as they use their credit or debit cards or cash today.”
The payment platform will use software developed by Encorus Technologies, owned by eONE Global, and the telcos will call on the expertise of First Data Corp, eONE's largest investor, for implementation.
Once live, Vodafone and T-Mobile customers will be able to store their personal details and preferred payment options in a virtual wallet on their mobile phone. Payment options will include traditional credit and debit cards, making transactions possible with any participating merchant say the companies. It is will also be possible to charge smaller purchasers direct - either to the customer’s mobile bill, by pre-paid top-up card or using other micro payment mechanisms.
Vodafone and T-Mobile hope that other operators will join them in launching the payment platform.
Nikesh Arora, executive board member, new business, T-Mobile and CEO, T-Motion, comments: “We see a global vision to make the mobile device multifunctional...consumers using their devices for phonecalls, as a games console, a messaging terminal or a virtual wallet.”